Our Caribbean region has benefitted from the invaluable contribution of leaders who have struggled to uplift their country, their people and the cohesive advancement of the region. The social, political and economic systems African Americans in the United States – who shared a historical past with the enslaved and emancipated blacks of the Caribbean, had a clear impact on political movements in the Caribbean. C.L.R James and Marcus Garvey were two Caribbean leaders whose common dominator was their “Caribbeaness” but their views and ideologies on the life they envisioned for the black and working class people, especially those in the Caribbean, were tangentially opposing. C.L.R James (1901 – 1989) was a formally educated Trinidadian born cultural historian, writer and political activist who was a leading figure in the Pan-African movement. Pan-Africanism is a specific ideology which states that the survival of Africa and the diaspora should be studied and with active links being made to Africa as the motherland. This ideology originated in the 18th century, black people in the United States were trying to escape slavery as they felt that they were wrongfully kidnapped from their motherland. The main objectives of this movement were to promote a universal link that all black people share, raise black consciousness about Africa and promote integration of black people. James promoted the national unification of the entire Caribbean region, from Cuba and Belize in the west to Trinidad and Guyana in the east; His aim was “Caribbean nationalism”, the unification of the whole region into one Caribbean nation. The vision was to advocate radicalism in the lives of the ordinary men and women and for the class to struggle against the European bourgeois society for better working conditions and to demand a new arrangement in place of the repression they now experienced. James’s ideologies and belief arose from his commitment to the socialist ideals of Trotsky, Lenin,...
Bibliography: Trotskyite. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Trotskyite (accessed: April 06, 2014).
August 17th, 2005
By Ayanna Gillian
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